The all-but-here government shutdown isn’t about the budget. It isn’t really even about abortion. It is about pseudoscience, denialism and enshrining such stupidity into law.
• No federal financing for Planned Parenthood because it performs abortions. Not because the government pays for abortions… it is forbidden to do so by the Hyde Amendment. But because Planned Parenthood primarily provides sex-ed, STD testing, HIV testing and family planning, Republican’s want to shift funds to state-governments, where governors won’t spend the funds.
• No local financing for abortion services in the District of Columbia.
• No foreign aid to countries that might use the money for abortion or family planning. And no aid to the United Nations Population Fund, which supports family-planning services.
• No regulation of greenhouse gases by the Environmental Protection Agency.
• No funds for health care reform or the new consumer protection bureau established in the wake of the financial collapse.
The pending budget deal already shreds protections for the lower class and the poor; the budget the Republicans want to pass would destroy those sectors in favor of the richest 1% of Americans. As Paul Krugman writes in The Times, it would return our discretionary spending per GDP to levels not seen since the Coolidge administration — nearly 100 years ago.
Are we building a future for America or destroying one?
So there are two novel bills by enlightened state Republicans for how to deal with the results of global warming. If you are like me, both will leave you wondering what the frak the proposers were smoking.
Bill number one comes to us from the great state of Montana, home to steers, queers and an increasing number of destructive wildfires. Those wildfires have been increasing in frequency, and are expected to jump 500% by 2050, according to the NAS, the end result of global climate change. Instead of proposing changes and wrestling with the tough choices involved in trying to arrest the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into, State Rep. Joe Read introduced HB 549. Supposedly to ensure the economic development of Montana, the bill actually declares that global warming hasn’t been caused by man and that, in fact, the change in mean global temperatures is great for Montana.
“I’ve come to the belief about climate change,” he said, “that man is very ineffective in instigating that change except in a regional area…Our weather is not going to change drastically.”
With Glacier National Park having lost 83% of it’s size, insect outbreaks devastating Montana forests and seasons having shifted, I’ve come to a belief about something else that’s ineffective: Rep. Read’s sense of reality.
Bill number two will be along shortly.
Source: Climate Progress.
In this brave new political world we find ourselves in, what does it mean when the denial of reality is a fundamental part of its political outlook? The most recent Pew Poll of political outlook found that 53% percent of Republicans say that there is no solid evidence the Earth is warming. That’s a pretty substantial number, a majority of the party respondents.
What’s even more troubling is that 70% of self-identified Tea Party Republicans respond this way. Since the Tea Party seems to be the Northstar of the GOP at the moment, with many of the leading voices of the Congress being part of or paying lip-service to their beliefs, this is a great cause for concern for the direction our country is taking.
With a substantial majority of Democrats (79%) polled stating there is solid evidence that the average temperature on Earth has increased over the past few decades, and 53% think the earth is warming mostly because of human activity versus 38% and 16% on the other side of the isle saying the same thing, what was previously a debate over what’s the best thing to do about a very direct and pressing problem, now shapes itself as being a party debate, with all of the silliness, ridiculousness and, lets face it, inaction political bodies engage in.
While it’s uncertain what, exactly, should be done to limit our impact on the environment and mitigate the impact of our modern (and pretty fucking cool) civilization on the planet, the Green technologies that promise to help are less likely to be implemented now that our emphasis has changed. What’s even more worrying, those policies that are certain to exacerbate and increase the problem — increased fossil fuel consumption, overturning limits on greenhouse gas emissions — are some of the policies the Tea Party and the GOP are most interested in implementing.
How did we make it out of primordial ooze again?
Take a look at the survey and its results here.
When one party makes denialism a political plank, we all suffer.
"The GOP is stampeding toward an absolutist rejection of climate science that appears unmatched among major political parties around the globe, even conservative ones.
Indeed, it is difficult to identify another major political party in any democracy as thoroughly dismissive of climate science as is the GOP here. Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, says that although other parties may contain pockets of climate skepticism, there is “no party-wide view like this anywhere in the world that I am aware of.”
It will be difficult for the world to move meaningfully against climate disruption if the United States does not. And it will be almost impossible for the U.S. to act if one party not only rejects the most common solution proposed for the problem (cap-and-trade) but repudiates even the idea that there is a problem to be solved. The GOP’s stiffening rejection of climate science sets the stage for much heated argument but little action as the world inexorably warms — and the dangers that Hague identified creep closer."
And check out this editorial by climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann, the target of so much rage — and now a legal investigation — on the Right. If the GOP takes over the House this fall, expect a great deal more of this kind of crap.
Gather ’round, children and listen to this bedtime story about the evil forces at work in a far off mythical place called "Texas." The danger? The dark forces are coming for you, too.